Family life in 1940

A PORTISHEAD family who recently spent two weeks living life as it was in the past, say they will repeat the experience again next year.

A PORTISHEAD family who recently spent two weeks living life as it was in the past, say they will repeat the experience again next year.

Lindsay Smith wanted to bring her interest in the 1940s to life and so persuaded her family to turn the clocks back to 1943.

On September 11 she, her husband David and their 14-year-old daughter Holly put away all their mod cons and began a 1940s experiment.

They dressed in 1940s clothes, did the washing by hand, ate rationed food or food they had grown themselves and enjoyed old fashioned entertainment like singing around the piano.

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Lindsay, aged 39, said: “It was a fantastic experience that I would recommend to anyone. We had real butter on our toast and still managed to lose a stone in weight between us.”

The family all agree that even though they were constantly busy, they were busy together, doing things for the home and family, quite different to the modern day where everyone seems to be caught up in their own extracurricular activities.

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The family had planned to keep a blog during their experience but Lindsay says life proved much too busy and she had to bring it up to date after the event.

She added: “All my spare time was taken up either cooking or washing up and cleaning, but we found we were all pulling together and having decent conversations while we were drying the dishes or pulling up vegetables. It was great.”

The family said making rations go round made them think before they ate anything, which in turn made them realise how much food they usually pop in to their mouths without even thinking about it.

Looking at a 1940s chocolate cake recipe, Lindsay explained the fat content was a third of that used in a modern day recipe

David says they did not go hungry, they just ate differently but they will now be changing their diet, maintaining the reduced fat content and convenience foods.

Lindsay and Holly both say they missed orange juice and the dishwasher most of all, while David took a fancy to powdered egg. The Smith family is now looking for other families to join them to embrace the 1940s experience again next year. They are also searching for a 1940s car.

To read more about the family’s experiences visit

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